EGU General Assembly 2021
© Author(s) 2021. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Time to re-think agricultural phosphorus modelling for the 2020s  

Jennifer M. Davies1, Victoria Janes-Bassett1, Martin Blackwell2, Andrew Burgess3, Jessica Davies1, and Philip M. Haygarth1
Jennifer M. Davies et al.
  • 1Lancaster Environment Centre, Lancaster Univeristy, Lancaster, United Kingdom
  • 2Department of Sustainable Agriculture Sciences, Rothamsted Research, North Wyke, United Kingdom
  • 3Burgess Farms, Produce World Group Ltd, Peterborough, United Kingdom

Phosphorus (P) is critical to our food production systems with many crop systems dependent on continual inputs to meet yield demands. However, a consequence of the widespread application of P to agricultural soils in the past 60 years has led to concerns about the long-term sustainability of P fertiliser supply and to P being transferred from soil systems to watercourses, causing diffuse pollution. This highlights the multi-scaled and interdisciplinary nature of the past, present and future of P management.  

The aim of this research is to define a starting framework to consider the best ways to develop a model that addresses the contemporary understanding of P processes, integrating the needs of the crop, with biogeochemical and hydrological modelling considerations, going beyond P transfer to the role of P in both food and water challenges.  

So, this review explores some of the current P models and the future opportunities for expanding their representation of P processes in agricultural systems. This goes beyond nesting existing models and reshapes approaches to posing research and modelling questions to achieve P models that cross disciplinary boundaries and have meaning and usability in practice. As part of this contribution, we welcome modellers and P scientists to come forward and help drive this complex issue of P in agriculture. 

How to cite: Davies, J. M., Janes-Bassett, V., Blackwell, M., Burgess, A., Davies, J., and Haygarth, P. M.: Time to re-think agricultural phosphorus modelling for the 2020s  , EGU General Assembly 2021, online, 19–30 Apr 2021, EGU21-15873,, 2021.